Ferguson Swears in First Black Police Chief Delrish Moss

iStock/Thinkstock(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- A veteran Miami police officer was sworn in Monday as the first black police chief of Ferguson, Missouri.

Delrish Moss replaces Tom Jackson, who resigned last year after a Justice Department report cited racial bias in Ferguson's criminal justice system.

After he was sworn in, Moss said it's the department's task to bring "nobility" back to police work.

To the city's police officers, he said: "If you work hard, if you stay honest and committed, if you maintain respect for the community and do your job well, we will get along just fine."

He also thanked the city's elected officials for "having faith in me" and the people of Ferguson for "giving me this opportunity."

The new leadership comes in the wake of protests and riots that overtook the city in the summer of 2014 after Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed black teen, was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer. A St. Louis County grand jury and the Department of Justice declined to indict the officer.

As Moss takes on this new role, he said he hopes to diversify the police department.

"The department now has very few females in sworn positions," he recently told The New York Times. "There’s, I think, a total of 54 police officers, and I think three or four African-Americans."

Moss said he also aims to increase the positive interactions between police and youth -- he told the New York Times that Ferguson has seen "an uptick in crimes committed by younger people."

"I want to start a mentoring program," he told the newspaper. "I want to start a Police Athletic League. I have been talking to the Do the Right Thing director here in Miami about Do the Right Thing [a youth program] coming to Ferguson. We’re going to do stuff like staff walks, so the staff gets out there and knocks on doors and talks to business owners and residents."

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